Based in Minneapolis, MN Sonja Peterson creates large hand-cut stories, many out of paper. Contextual concerns and decorative motifs are intermingled in the traditional art forms of paper cuts, bookmaking, collage, and stencils. Works are often suspended in space to create a contained environment through which the viewer can physically walk. Multiple vignettes or chapters throughout a single piece heighten an objective of drawing the viewer into the details after the initial gaze at the whole narrative. The slow process of cutting stories into visual networks is an action that fulfills a need to reexamine and unravel histories of the endless matrix of power structures and systems in today’s world and retell stories of their making, often focusing on the environment and where humans fit into it. The works’ structural integrity is, at times, reliant on its interconnectivity; if elements disconnect, the entire system is in threat of collapsing.
Peterson received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Peterson’s awards include was the 2021 McKnight Foundation Fellowship, Jerome Foundation Travel Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and residencies from the Bell Museum of Natural History as well as the American Swedish Institute. Peterson’s work has been exhibited and in collections at numerous museums and galleries throughout the country.
2023 McKnight Artist Residency Fellow
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA